The number of breweries in this country
peaked in the late 1800s, when there
were more than 4,000. It was a time
when beer didn't travel well, and every
community had its own brewery -- or
several. By the early 1980s, there were
only 50 or so companies operating 80
breweries.Then came the microbrewery
revolution. It was just announced that
the ranks of craft breweries making
beer has just eclipsed the 2,000 mark.
Last year alone, 250 new breweries
opened across the USA!
When the economy tanked a few years
ago craft beer remained one of the few
bright spots, contributing $8.7 billion to
our nation's economy last year, and
employing nearly 104,000 people.
For many years, craft beer has
accounted for about 5 percent of all
beer sold, leading Georgia artist Chad
Baker to create a funny poster satirizing
the Occupy Movement that read: "Craft
Beer Drinkers, We Are the 5%."
And the winner is........
Winners of the World Beer Cup -- unofficially dubbed the "Olympics of beer competition" -- were
recently announced at the conclusion the 2012 Craft Brewers Conference, which hosted the event.
The biannual competition, now in its ninth year, featured submissions from 799 breweries across
54 countries and 45 U.S. states. In all, 3,921 beers in 95 style categories were considered.
Five breweries and brewmasters were named champions in various size categories.
Sixty-seven percent of the 211 judges were from outside of the U.S., spanning 26 countries
abroad. Taste tests were blind to eliminate the possibility of bias.
Small Brewing Company Category: Brauerei Michael Plank, Michael Plank; Mid-Size
Brewing Company Category: Firestone Walker Brewing Company; Large Brewing
Company Category: AB InBev; Small Brewpub Category: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
There were 95 individual categories for types of beer just about guaranteeing a gold medal for
even those hobgoblins of craft beer lovers - the macro lagers. Need proof, check this result:
Category 43: American-Style Lager or Light Lager, 39 Entries
Gold: Coors Light, Coors Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Silver: Michelob Ultra, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO
Bronze: Michelob Light, Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, MO
Category 44: American-Style Premium Lager or Specialty Lager, 37 Entries
Gold: Steel Reserve, Miller Brewing Co., Golden, CO
Silver: Evans Original, Cervecería Mexicana, Corona, CA
Bronze: Icehouse, Miller Brewing Co., Golden, CO
the crossroads of the beer world